Portrait of a father

We assumed this was a female monkey for the longest time because of the interaction with the baby monkey. It wasn't until he turned around that my husband noticed it was most definitely a male. Perhaps it's just us being uninformed on the family habits of primates, but we were surprised to see a father monkey take such tender care of his offspring. We have since read up on them and found that male Barbary macaques bond with their offspring shortly after birth.

 

When we first drove up, he was nestling the baby in his arms; I didn't even notice there was a baby there. After the baby was up, he'd swing him up onto his back and they walked around; sometimes the baby would swing down and ride around attached to his tummy, too!

 

It was very sweet to watch the interaction with father and child.

 

This has been my highest ranking photo in Explore, thanks to all of you who took the time to look! Appeared in the Interestingness archives, highest rank of #74.

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Taken on December 26, 2006